Professionalism Index (P-Index)

Professionalism is the the extent to which teachers live up to the expectations of performance and conduct that pervade their practice. The four key elements of teacher professionalism are academic engagement, self-regulation of professional standards, effectiveness, and contribution to a professional community.

Academic engagement, follows the need to control the knowledge systems relevant to teaching practice; Self-enforcement of Standards, follows the need to self-regulate adherence to norms from within the profession itself; Effectiveness, follows the continuous need to win the right to treat the problems of practice; Contribution to a Professional Community, follows the need to coordinate expectations and communicate standards across the profession. Within the school building, the more teachers consistently manifest these dispositions and behaviors, the more professional they are deemed to be. The Professionalism Index (P-Index) is our gauge to measure the extent of individual teacher professionalism.

Reliability and Validity of the P-Index

The P-Index is an 8-item Likert-type scale that measures the degree to professionalism of teachers. Teachers are asked to describe their beliefs and behavior along a six-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree - the higher the score, the greater the professional orientation and behavior of the teacher.

The reliability of the scale is good, with an Omega coefficient of reliability of .81 (McMahon & Hoy, 2009). The construct validity has also been supported in confirmatory factor analytic study (McMahon & Hoy, 2009).

Scoring Key

The responses vary along a six-point scale from "Strongly Disagree (1)" to "Strongly Agree (6)."

Step 1: Score items 1, 3, 7, and 8 as:
Strongly Disagree =1 to Strongly Agree =6

Step 2: Reverse score items 2, 4, 5, and 6 as:
Strongly Disagree =6 to Strongly Agree =1

Step 3: Now sum the eight scores: the higher the score, the greater is the professionalism of the teacher.


McMahon, E., & Hoy, W. K. (2009). Professionalism in teaching: Toward a structural theory of professionalism. In Wayne K. Hoy & Michael DiPaola (eds.). Studies in school improvement.Greenwich, CN: Information Age.

Ohio State School of Education
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